Basham Jewelry

Lake County Diamonds

The rings in this display are priced from $75-$350

All rings are set in white or yellow gold

"Lake County Diamonds " are a form of quartz that, to our knowledge, is found in gem quality only in Lake County and a very tiny area of Napa County in northern California. We believe that the Lake County Diamonds began as deposits of quartz crystals like quartz deposits all over the world. It is called alpha quartz. Then Lake County experienced incredible volcanic activity. The heat melted the quartz but temperatures and pressures were just right so it was not destroyed. rather, the melted quartz was carried along with the lava flows. As things cooled down it hardened, not as crystals, but as amorphus beta quartz. These delightful beauties weather out of the rock and soil, sparkling in the sunshine. Especailly after a good rain.

 

Alpha Quartz-the crystal structure is easily seen.

Beta Quartz-no longer has a crystal structure.

Hardness:

7.5-8.0 on the mohs scale

Low R.I.-1.544

High R.I.-1.553

Dispersion: .013

There are many legends and folklore surrounding the Lake County Diamonds. Our favorite says that long ago there were no stars in the sky. The moon gave the people light at night and the sun gave them light in the daytime. Moon was kind and gentle, but Sun was cruel and jealous of his sister.                

A young Pomo chieftan fell in love with Moon and every night he would sing to her as she crossed the sky. His family was greatly concerned because he slept all day and neglected his chores. They were afraid Sun would become angry and punish all the people.

Sun did become very angry. He sent Blue jay to lure the young chieftan to a terrible land high in the mountains where great jets of steam rose from the ground and made streams too hot for fish to survive. There the young man fell into a deep sleep.

Moon saw the young man and fell in love with him. She sang to him and as she sang, her words filled the air with gold dust. Then Sun became angry with gentle Moon. He ordered her to return to her place in the sky because the people needed her. Moon knew he was right, but she was so sad she wept tears that turned into crystal.

This made Sun angrier still and he decided to kill the young man. Moon grabbed the crystals and hurled them at Sun. Some clung to the sky and became stars, others fell to the earth and became what we now call "Lake County Diamonds"

This ring is one lavendar Lake Co. diamond and two clear. Lavendars are very hard to come by. $225.00

Earrings $90.00